x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Carlos Tevez denies reports of rift with Lionel Messi keeping him out of Argentina squad

Juventus star has not played for Argentina since Copa America exit in 2011

Carlos Tevez, second from right, has rejected reports of a rift between him and Argentina teammate Lionel Messi, second from left. They are pictured leaving the field at the end of a friendly against Canada in Buenos Aires on May 24, 2010. Natacha Pisarenko / AP Photo
Carlos Tevez, second from right, has rejected reports of a rift between him and Argentina teammate Lionel Messi, second from left. They are pictured leaving the field at the end of a friendly against Canada in Buenos Aires on May 24, 2010. Natacha Pisarenko / AP Photo

Juventus striker Carlos Tevez has denied suggestions that a falling out with Lionel Messi is behind his ongoing absence from the Argentina side, saying that the two players “get on well”.

“I don’t know where they got such nonsense from. Everyone publishes it, but the truth is that we get on well. We have shared moments together, training sessions, matches and there has never been a problem. He is a charming and very polite person,” Tevez said in an interview with the Argentine daily Cronica on Wednesday.

“This should be his World Cup and I hope that is the case with all my heart because he is a marvellous player. He and Cristiano [Ronaldo], with whom I played at Manchester United, are the best players in the world.”

Tevez has not played for his country since their disappointing exit from the Copa America to Uruguay on penalties at the quarter-final stage on home soil in 2011, and there appears to be little prospect of him winning favour with coach Alejandro Sabella now.

“Everyone asks me why I’m not there, but it would be a lack of respect on my part if I answered. That’s just the way things are,” said the 29 year old, who starred for Boca Juniors at the start of his career and continues to be idolised in Argentina.

Television station Cronica TV has been staging a campaign to get Tevez included in the squad, and several fans called for the player to be recalled in a protest in Buenos Aires on Friday.

Argentina will face Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria in Group F at the World Cup in Brazil.

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